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I missed a vital part in the ‘sometimes it will just bite you in the arse” piece….

*warning* loads of use of the word shit in this piece.

Recently (11 days ago to be exact…I just checked) I wrote about ‘shit happening’ (original right?). Go HERE if you haven’t read it and you can be bothered.

If you can’t be bothered, the short version is this…life is full of curve balls, fast balls that hit you between the eyes, and kicks that seem to whack balls too (apparently that hurts). Sometimes life sucks, it just does. Sometimes it feels too big to carry the weight of.

I felt pretty pumped after writing that…chest thumpy pumpy.

I was up on my soap box (as I confessed) and was preachin’ it man!

While I still believe it to be fundamentally true, that yes, shit happens, what I really glossed over…no, rather entirely neglected..was…the gloomy depth you might experience  WHEN you are experiencing life’s curve ball/nut cracker!

WHEN shit is happening it can feel like the most entirely enveloping, suffocating, anaesthetising experience. So constrictive at times you wonder how on earth you might breath. You wonder how on earth you can possibly get through it. To deal with it. To remain sane.

I’ve experienced quite a few shit storms in my time but it would be shit of me to even think I understood the experience of anyone else who is struggling to breath through the ball breaking.

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My initial post on shit happens shows my un-natural desire to want to ‘fix things fast so we can move on”. I do absolutely still reckon, shit happens to us all, I don’t believe we just go, “oh well, shit happens, lets move on”. No, not at all.

I’ve noticed the times where I have seemingly stepped into the same lesson AGAIN, more often than not, it has been as a result of the whole “oh well, shit happens, get over it” BS line.

I haven’t allowed the experience to be my life teacher. And of course, I understand why…it f*cking hurts when you are getting smashed in the balls (apparently) so OF COURSE you just want it to stop…

I’ve experienced emotional pain so cutting, I felt that if I just wasn’t on this earthly plain, I would be pleased. My mind was giving me all kinds of alternatives to relieve the pain (brains are good like that) and some of them were fatal perceived fixes. Dark. Bleak. Muddy. Futile.

It is so hard at times when you are surrounded by the fragments of a diabolical storm to see anything clearly and the mind will behave like a scared little monkey, rattling the cage it is in.

  • “Why is this happening?”
  • “What have I done that is so bad I have to have this experience?”
  • “I’m not a bad person…am I”?
  • “Did I kill a small village, no..a large village in a past life?”
  • “Does the universe hate me?”

It has taken the better part of 20 years to understand the function of shit storms…in my own life.

When I am being swirled around and can’t see a metre in front of me, I still ask all of those questions. It’s like a programmed script my mind has etched into my grey matter. I imagine when I go through the next one, I’ll do the same again. My mind defaults to what it is most experienced with.

After my last big shit fest I committed to opening up some other conscious dialogue my mind could pump out.

I started to ask some other questions: Questions that seem to have been able to help me transform the pain from consuming to supportive…

  • “What do I need most, right now?”
  • “Who can I ask to help support me right now…I know I’m not meant to go it alone?”
  • “What is the biggest act of self love I can take right now?”
  • “Am I willing to ask the universe to chime in to show me the next step?”

When I am in the midst of the storm, I can’t see “what I am supposed to learn out of this”. It’s too soon. It’s bypassing the experience. The experience IS the opportunity to learn. To learn ‘something’ so we don’t have to repeat the same shit over and over.

Not during the storm my beauties. Not during the storm will you get clarity. During the storm you just want to hold on and sing out for help!

If a storm is taking your breath away right now, know that ALL storms DO pass and while you are in it…just do what you gotta do to survive it.

Call a friend. See your therapist. Eat chocolate. Don’t eat. Over eat. Sleep. Don’t sleep. ASK FOR SUPPORT..someone to hold the torch in the dark for you. Observe how you feel in it. Do you numb? Do you run? Do you fight?

If a storm is upon you now, know you are not alone….ready to love you through it..

THEN…after the storm has passed, and it will, there will be time for reflection. For exploration of what it is life was wanting you to know.

Go gently and be kind to yourself.

Big, big love

Jen

xx

 

 

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I USED to like a good ‘air slap’…until life showed me what I needed to hear

Life is like a good friend. It keeps trying to show you the way.       Elizabeth Gilbert.

One of my friends and mentors laughs (and gives me an air slap) whenever I say, “God…I am such a slow learner”.

Every time I would say it, it was usually following ANOTHER ‘same lesson’ kinda moment. “Same lesson again? Really? Didn’t I get it last time? Why am I going down this road again? Come ON! I’m such a slow learner”!

That was kinda how I would speak to Belinda to which after she would air slap me, usually laugh and say, “You keep saying you are a slow learner THAT is what you will BE”. Then we would get down and jiggly with the exploration of what life was trying to show me.

Mostly, life was trying to show me the truth. And truth it seems is layered. Multi-layered with story, messy recollections, twisted perspectives, and distortion. Well, that is the shell around the truth. The deep truth.

This year my 2 words (yes I mention it again) are SLOW DOWN. Slow down so you can REALLY hear what life is trying to say. You have a message in this experience. Maybe even a few. But if you are rushing to the next thing all the time, you miss it and then, well, life will try to help you again…and in my case seemingly…again and again and again.

I’m no different to most people when it comes to wanting stuff done…now….or yesterday. Just get it gone!

I really reckon some of my ‘truth’ is that I have bought into this societal belief that if you aren’t answering the question, “So how are you?” with “busy”, “exhausted”, “give me a drink NOW!” then you are lazy.

I read recently a great article written by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz (www.happymama.com.au) about Bronnie Ware. Bronnie Ware is and author who wrote, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”. In Amy’s piece, we get to see the beautiful human who wrote reflections of her time as a nurse, supporting the dying.

A human who was an overnight literary success (took 14 years). A human who has been suffering from a debilitating form of rheumatoid arthritis. A human who had her first baby at 45 years of age. A beautiful human who believed she was “really strong and life kept throwing challenges at me and I just kept getting back up again. And the one day I thought to myself, ‘this is ridiculous. Just because you can do it tough doesn’t mean you have to”.

Bronnie Ware

Bronnie says,

I know how short life is. I’ve been very blessed with that gift. I know that whether you die at 30, 50, 70 or 90, when you realise your life is over, you have that moment thinking, “hooley dooley, it can’t be over! It was too short! And through being with the dying, being very ill and now being a mother to a very alive little toddler, I just want to live it. I just want to live every moment as wonderfully as I can. I’m into living much more than I am in to dying!

Sometimes when I think about dying, I think that. “Not yet, not soon…there is still so much I want to do”…then I get anxious. Feel like I am not doing enough. That I am wasting life. That I am lazy! And when I feel that way, riddled with anxiety my response is to speed up!

That can be a trick my mind uses to speed me up again. “You’re not doing enough”. So, I’ll load up my plate, calendar and mind with ‘stuff to do’. Busy up girl!

You and I are not lazy if we want to say “no” to the 456th request to “chat about my project over coffee”, or to say ‘no’ in general.

You and I are not lazy because we are not exhausted.

You and I are not lazy because our kids aren’t doing 1 million activities….and neither are our kids!

You and I are not lazy if we respond to the question, “how have you been?” with, “totally rocking it thanks” (which is my plan to be able to say that this year and really MEAN it).

I am not lazy sitting on my beautiful deck, overlooking my beautiful tree filled land, watching the sun gently massage the leaves on the trees, writing a personal reflection and perspective while sipping a cup of herbal tea.

I am in fact so incredibly blessed to have this life experience. Right now. And if I DID breath my last breath tonight, I have LIVED..if only just for this most precious moment here!

Exhale….

Oh, and as a funny side note:

Today I have been dealing with our new broadband supplier who seemingly has changed us to a SLOWER speed connection. “But this wasn’t our agreement”. *red face* *steam ears* Funny that I am experiencing slower internet….

…..Life is my friend and supporting me to slow down…and clearly, I find this process a little challenging.

Looking forward to seeing Belinda next with no use of, “I’m a slow learner”. Instead I can say, “So, I wonder what life is trying to teach me AGAIN”;)

Slow down precious and listen to what life is teaching us.

Go gently and speak kindly to yourself!

Big, big love

Jen

xx

 

 

 

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What on earth does it REALLY mean?

For those of you who read my last blog entry (all 5 of you 😉 ) you may recall my 2 words to motivate me, inspire me and to kind of live by this year. If you didn’t read it, you can chomp on it here, or I’ll catch you up real quick.

The 2 words I am going to align with this year are:

SLOW DOWN

Today while attending to the washing and ‘hanging out’ at the clothes line, 3 things popped to mind.

  1. Why did I choose those 2 words REALLY?
  2. What does it even mean to REALLY slow down anyway?
  3. And why do I REALLY need to slow down?

I know I cited that my old mate Liz inspired me to woo up, to take a few breaths, to have a look at the repeat, repeat teachings life was trying to bring to me. And it struck. It absolutely did. Neon light explosion kinda strike.

But as I stood at the line with wet swim gear in my hands, I just felt like there is something more here for me. Is it that I live a ‘fast’ kinda life? Is it ‘busy’ kinda life? After all, isn’t it a great life I have? YES! So, then why do I really want to slow down?

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When I reflect on 2015, it was a pretty big year. Loads of firsts. Loads of awesome creating, and loads of fun and adventure. So why would I want to slow down? Why can’t I just stay committed to living a full and vibrant life doing so many cool things?

Great question Jen.

Well, the short answer…by then end of the year, no, not even close to the end of the year I was effing exhausted. Tired. Lethargic. Really kind of ‘urgh’ at times.

This is so weird to me! How can it possibly be that if I am practicing what I preach, living a life connected with my purpose, my loves, my values can I wind up exhausted?

Great question Jen.

I have my hunches. I have been at this long enough to ‘think’ I know what is up, but, I am going to wait. To SLOW DOWN and say:

Most dearest wise life. I await your wisdom as I journey through this year, attempting to understand more. To view your demonstration with more curiosity. To be more awake to your teachings.

And off it goes. That feels SLOWED DOWN RIGHT THERE.

So, as I sit out the back of my house, listening to the kids laughing their little heads off on the trampoline taking in the amazing view that we have, participating in an activity I love, I feel ‘slowed down’. This…this feels good.

THIS is one of those moments that life perhaps is teaching me. Real time lesson. Quick, take some notes…no, not quick, no rush….slowwwww dowwwwn my child. Let it come in….Slow down to let it come in. To receive. To hear. Ok, right, this is going to be a ride!

Right, those notes:

  1. When I am surrounded by nature, enjoying the space, the noise, the smells, the life around me = slow down.
  2. When I am writing about stuff I am curious about, or stuff important to me, or just writing what feels like it needs to come through: un-interrupted = slow down.
  3. When I am not thinking about the next place to be or the next chore or the next anything = slow down.
  4. When I stop, in between writing bits and take a big breath = slow down.
  5. Ahhh, yes, there it is life…noticing. The power of noticing. Yes life. I must slow down to notice!

So life. You want me to do MORE of this? Yes. Yes I hear your call and I say yes. That feels good to me! It is a start.

Life lesson:

I’ll do it for a month. I’ll do it each day. 1. Surrounding myself with nature. 2. Writing stuff that inspires me. 3. Focussing on staying present.  4. Remember to deep breath! 5. Notice what happens!

Wow life. You got some teach up in you!

Now, when can I do that without getting too overwhelmed. Yes, the next word I considered and AM considering introducing to my ‘words of the year’ : SCHEDULE. So lets get specific.

Lets go all coach. Get specific when you are going to act.

Right, ok. Somewhere between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. On dusk. I love dusk.

Is it realistic with 3 young kids. Well, if it is scheduled, I will make it happen. It means I will have to say no to other stuff. AND I am SURE life has got some good lessons in the saying “NO” department.

Well, thank you life. Teach on!

AND if YOU have any thoughts, feelings, hints or ideas in the SLOW DOWN department, feel free to share your wisdom! Life speaks to me through you too!

Oh, and if you want to follow my SLOW DOWN journey, click follow and you’ll get some stuff straight to you!

Speak kindly to yourself

Big, big love

Jen

xx

 

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Finally! I heard the universal cry!

Do you have a word, or a phrase or a motto that you intend to live by this year?

You know….a focus for your direction. A foundation for your actions. A start point to help you say YES and NO clearly.

It has taken we to the 10th of January to get my word or words.

It was one of those rare moments when I just get struck. When I read something and go, “yep, that was for me”. Praise the universe!

I was reading a recent post that one of my fave writers Liz Gilbert (I feel like I am shortening name terms by now) popped up on her FB page. Check it out below (if you click the coloured underlined bit).

Life teaches you how to live it, if you live long enough.

Having been in the personal growth arena for a good while now, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on my own life. Got some ‘good sh$t’ kinda tools: How to get through adversity. How to create cool stuff. How to live in alignment with my ‘calling’. How to be present. How to navigate unfamiliar terrain with curiosity and determination. How to fall. How to get back up. How to give. How to receive. Yep. I reckoned I’m doing ok. AND I am.

Yet, after reading my besties post (ok, I know that is creepy) I took in a big breath and let out a big, “Ah yes! That is it”.

So many teachers before me have said things like, “Life loves you” (thank you Louise Hay and Robert Holden), and “Life will give you what you need to grow” (most Spiritual Teachers), and “Life happens FOR you not TO you” (I reckon it was Wayne Dyer I heard that one from).

After reading it from Elizabeth (trying to regain integrity) I heard it. It didn’t just trickle into my ear canals, it burst in, and travelled super fast through my pipes and landed in my heart with a thump.

If it were visible to my eyes, it would have been neon sign like. And, the universe knows how I need neon signs.

The call, the reminder, the gentle shout was 2 words.

2 words that I have heard many people use.

2 words I have used SO much myself. So much, that it is part of my teaching.

These 2 words are my 2016 challenge and ‘live by’ words.

If you have read the article (which if you haven’t please do), you will know the two words.

Put simply…..

SLOW DOWN

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There you go, the 2 words.

AND even as I type them, I kind of retract in an uncomfortable kinda way and my face squints and contorts.

It goes against so many of my old beliefs (you know the 10km past boundary bizzo).

Real time BLOG writing****I’m laughing now. As I type this, my daughter says, “If I want to do something, I am just going to do it”. I say, “Awesome, love that attitude”. To which my husband chimes in and says, “Your mother used to say that too before she had kids”. We laugh. We talk about sometimes as parents we have to make certain sacrifices for our kids. BUT if we desire it deep in our being, we can chip away at it…but we must SLOW DOWN****.

It is marathon this life. Not a sprint. Not a finish first kind of life.

It is a life that is constantly teaching us.

AND we get to take notice and observe what it is trying to communicate to us.

Ahhh. Yes.

Jen, precious Jen….slow down.

What does that mean though?

Well step one; remember what is most important to you and fill your cup with that FIRST. Prioritise it. Put in in your schedule DAILY.

THEN, identify, the next most important stuff and repeat as in step one!

THEN WHEN you fall off and get distracted and get all busy and “YESSY” start at step one again.

Life is trying to get my attention and I can see it has been for a while. It has been saying, “Precious Jen, slow down. You are doing enough. YOU are enough….and THAT is enough”.

This piece by Ms Gilbert has reminded me, that life will give you what you need. If you are not ready to receive it at the time, it will move on and come back at another time and offer you the same opportunity to learn.

Seriously.

How good is life.

It just don’t quit!

THANK YOU life!

I can see just how much you DO actually love me!

So, do you know what life is teaching you right now? You know I would love to hear. It helps me on my journey!

Big, big love to you.

Jen

xx

Ps…thanks Pinterest ‘playbuzz.com’ for the pic used here!

 

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Sometimes it will just bite you in the arse…it just will.

Love this time of the year.

Feelings of ‘reset’, clean out, gee up and get on with fall on me. I like it.

As I reflect on the amazing year of 2015, I gotta say this is what stands out for me the most.

Life and all it’s stuff can be challenging.

*soap box standing alert*

I don’t necessarily believe we attract bad things to us, we actually attract stuff to us to help us grow. To expand. To apply a little pressure on us so we have to strengthen our heart muscles, soul muscles, intellectual muscles, spirit muscles. Just like lifting weights builds physical muscle (a goal for me for 2016 btw).

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Stuff happens. It does. It just fricken does. No matter how much you meditate, how much you hermit yourself, no matter how ‘evolved’ I may believe myself to be (Pft! I am so NOT evolved)

Things flip up sometimes to help us shift perspective. To learn to be grateful even in the dark shit. To see that as humans, we go through tough stuff. We sign up for it. But what we do have, is the choice to use to t lift us, or use it to squash us!

From my observation of life this time around, some people ‘get’ that fact and some people just don’t.

I have on many occasion pulled the ‘why me?’ card, the “how did this happen to ME?” picture.

WHY NOT? Why WOULDN’T ‘it’ happen to me? I am a human and not immune to all human afflictions!

The DIFFERENCE is I get to CHOOSE what happens WHEN it does!

Shitttttt happppens. It HAS happened and I am pleased to say, I cam still here. Creating on. Learning on. Loving on.

Second soap box topic….life can be filled with runs of shitty stuff. GET SOME AMAZING PEEPS TO SUPPORT YOU WHEN YOU CARE GOING THROUGH THE SHIT.

With life and it’s challenges, you don’t need more people trying to pull you down, lead you away from your dreams and hating on you.

This year taught me that there are going unexpected jinks in the road. That humans who aren’t clear on their own direction, will often unconsciously, try to pull you off mine. And, I STILL get pulled off direction! BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS I KNOW WHERE I AM HEADED.

I have worked tirelessly for a long time to get clear. It’s been an uphill battle at times. It has been filled with deep, deep pain at times. It has bit me in my ample arse so hard I thought I might not be able to take another breath at times….but it is life.

It bites sometimes!

Let the bruise heal, and lets move on!

*stepping off my soap box*

Sending you BIG, BIG LOVE.

Lets do this life thing.

Who’s in?